Energy sector – International IT infrastructure consolidation

Task:

  • Consolidation of the existing international data centers and computer rooms in a new, dual-sited Synchronous Data Center
  • Adaptation of the heterogeneous IT architecture, while expanding to the highest availability and 24/7 operation
  • Stabilization of the IT environment, significant reduction of "severe incidents"
  • Integration into a new WAN and LAN
  • Increased IT security

Why AXXCON?

Due to the extensive experience in the field of international data center migration and consolidation projects, AXXCON was the preferred choice to manage the program.

Challenge:

The application landscape and the IT infrastructure were poorly or even not documented and highly heterogeneous due to the rapid growth of the customer. Because of the high criticality of the energy trading business of the customer it was also absolutely essential to keep the impact on the daily operations (24/7 operation and "around-the-world"-trading) as low as possible. Another challenge was to enable the affected application for "WAN-readiness". This means that the applications which were developed without considering network latencies, had to be adjusted accordingly to avoid performance degradations.

Approach/Procedure:

After thorough planning, in the first instance the basic infrastructure in the new DC was build and tested (Server HW, DC, LAN, SAN, Firewalls, etc.). To keep the increased costs driven by the high availability requirements within an acceptable range, new "shared platforms" have been introduced instead of the previous dedicated platforms. This affected particularly the high-end database systems. This way the cost for HW infrastructure and also the SW licenses could be reduced. The services were then migrated within 18 months to the new environment in a step-by-step process. The timeline was essentially determined by the business. As an accompanying measure the entire technical Change Management has been optimized and stabilized in order to achieve the lowest possible impact on the daily operation.

Result:

After a six-month stabilization period, it can be said that all goals and objectives were fully achieved through the input and the experienced management of AXXCON. A key performance indicator is the number of Severity 1&2 incidents. Before the project the number was on average 15-20 Sev1 and Sev2 infrastructure incidents per month. Today there are only 3 on average. The introduction of shared platforms for production and pre-production (pre-production did not exist before) also increased the system stability on the application side. Other significant achievements: the 100% available system documentation and the increase of the virtualization rate from 23% to 70%. The new infrastructure also meets all requirements of the energy and financial regulators.

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